Resource Page for Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes
Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be called type 2 diabetes.
It has been estimated that 79 million Americans have “pre-diabetes” and most of these people are unaware of their condition. (Reference 1).
Insulin Resistance is a condition in which the body is still producing insulin, but not using it effectively.
It may be possible to reverse insulin resistance before the onset of type 2 diabetes by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Increasing physical activity and eating right to promote weight loss can help the body respond more effectively to insulin.
Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes Causes
The most common cause of pre-diabetes is a combination of excess body weight and a lack of physical activity. Another cause can be inherited genetic factors.
People who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or insulin resistance may help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by changing what foods they eat and increasing physical activity.
Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when the body blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Often, blood glucose levels are high because the body has trouble either producing or using insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body use glucose from food for energy.
All food we eat eventually breaks down to glucose (sugar), which is the body’s main source of energy.
When people are insulin resistant, the various cells of the body (i.e. muscle, fat, liver) do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, more insulin is needed to do the same job as before. This causes the pancreas to work in over drive to produce more insulin.
Over time, the pancreas gets tired out and can’t keep up with body’s increasing demand for more insulin. Then, blood sugar levels begin to slowly rise because the body doesn’t have enough insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Once excess blood glucose builds in the bloodstream, this causes higher blood sugar levels and may lead to type 2 diabetes if left unmanaged. (Reference 2).
Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes Symptoms
Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes usually are symptomless.
Some people with a severe form of insulin resistance may have dark patches of skin, usually on or near the back of the neck. This condition is called “acanthosis nigricans” and may also appear around the elbows, knees, knuckles, or armpits. (Reference 2) The condition occurs because of the high levels of both insulin and glucose that are circulating in the bloodstream due to insulin resistance. Insulin spillover into the skin can result in abnormal growth and the stimulation of color producing cells (melanocytes). (Reference 3)
Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes Tips
One easy step is to replace unhealthy snacks with snacks from Extend Nutrition.
Extend Nutrition snack-foods are designed to help stabilize blood sugar levels for up to 9 hours and are made with complex carbohydrates
Tip # 1 - Make healthier food choices.
Look for Low Glycemic, Low Fat and/or Low Calories. Find a meal plan that works for you and stick with it.
Tip #2 - Increase your physical activity.
Aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity. Every little step helps. You can park your car further away, walk through the hallway one extra time, etc.
Tip # 3 - Lose excess weight.
Aim for a 5-10% reduction in body weight. Through a combination of a healither diet and physical activity - you can successufully lose weight to help battle insulin resistance and/or pre-diabetes. (Reference 4)
*The information provided above is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
(Reference 1) The American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/?loc=DropDownDB-stats
(Reference 2) National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM/pubs/insulinresistance/
(Reference 3) Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acanthosis_nigricans
(Reference 4) American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes-faqs.html